"Charity is commendable, everyone should be charitable. But Justice aims to create a social order in which, if individuals choose not to be charitable, people still don't go hungry, unschooled or sick without care. Charity depends on the vicissitudes of whim and personal wealth, justice depends on commitment instead of circumstance.
Faith-based charity provides crumbs from the table; faith-based justice offers a place at the table"
~Bill Moyers

Monday, February 18, 2008

"With Love From California To Tabasco, Chiapas AndTuxtla Gutierrez"

In November 2007, after a few weeks of the floods in October 2007 ( BBC in Pictures ) that affected hundreds of thousands of residents in the states of Chiapas, Tabasco and Tuxtla Gutierrez in the South of Mexico, residents of San Francisco and the SF Bay Area, started to voice concerns on the popular Spanish radio talk show, "Hecho en California" with Dr. Marcos Gutierrez, at the news that the relief was not getting fast enough to the poorest of those affected.

The desire to help was fervent and a call to action took form from that program, it was decided to hold a mini fund raiser radiothon, questions were raised i.,e., 1. How do we get the help/material/resources directly to the people?, 2. How do we know that the help es really distributed?

From amongst the program's audience and sponsors, came the information that a religious group had been on the ground for several years providing basic services in the area and had the structure to deliver the services and resources as soon as they arrived.

It was agreed by the audience to accept the proposal to partner with them, with the proviso that it was expected that reports be sent back to "Hecho en California"'s Audience to document the disposition of the funds - It was also decided to send an emisary to deliver these funds, inspect the damage and report back to us. Dr. Marcos Gutierrez was proposed as the person to make the trip, and that it had to be independently financed, Dr. Gutierrez accepted and the trip's cost was donated by one of the program's sponsors.

It took awhile to receive all the documentation RE The Tabasco/Chiapas/Tuxtla Gutierrez Relief Fund for the victims of the floods, aptly named, "Desde California a Tabasco/Chiapas/Tuxtla Gutierrez Con Amor" ("With Love From California To Tabasco/Chiapas/Tuxtla Gutierrez"), but on February 17, a video was shown and a binder with copies of the pertinent checks (Front and Back) And the Original Receipts of purchases was presented to the people who showed up to the invitation made on radio to see view the documentation.

This is the video and the docs' binder can be examined to whoever may question the transparency of the transactions by email to Dr. Gutierrez from "Hecho en California".
Immediately below the video, please find the text of the final report send on Nov. 30 to contributors to the relief effort.

This is the final report on the funds raised for The Tabasco/Chiapas/Tuxtla Gutierrez Relief Fund for the victims of the floods
As of Thursday, November 29, 2007, the total amount deposited in the "Hecho en California/Tabasco Relief Fund" was, $23,099.00

Albeit we had said that our choice was not to receive cash, in the Sunday Nov. 25 fundraising event, there were donations in cash, thanks to the foresight of one of our volunteers, Mrs. Isabel Gutierrez who brought receipts, each cash donor's name and amount received was logged in and was extended a receipt with the name, amount and date of the donation.

As of Saturday Nov. Nov. 24, we had received donations totaling $14,227.00 and on the Sunday, Nov. 25, 2007 event, we received in checks $4045.00 and in cash $3072.00, giving us a subtotal of $7117.00 raised on that day

This gave us a pre-final total amount of $21,344.00
In addition, there were pledges that we had not been received and when they arrived by Thursday, November 29, the amount was $1755.00 which gave us a final total of $23,099.00.

On behalf of our sisters and brothers in need in the States of Tabasco, Chiapas and Tuxtla Gutierrez in Mexico, we thank you and are very grateful for your generosity.
As planned, Dr. Marcos Gutierrez departed on the night of Nov. 29 to deliver the funds, tour the devastated zone, document (Video, audio) the damage and ascertain that all parties involved are clear on how the funds will be used. Upon his return and on a date and place to be specified later, he'll give us a report of his trip and show the videos taken during that visit on an event to be announced later.

We heard from Marcos via phone from Mexico City shortly after 9:00 AM today, Nov. 30, on his radio program, where he informed his audience that he was about to board another plane bound for Tabasco, once there, he'll be reporting to the "Hecho en California" Weekend programs.

Hecho en California thanks all of you who made this effort a success and wish for you the best for this Holiday Season and whatever is dear to your hearts.

On behalf of Dr. Marcos Gutierrez and all the volunteers who worked on this campaign,

Honorary Public Relations Spokesperson
Hecho En California

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